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This study looked at the destinations of young New Zealanders after they left school. It considered the likelihood of a student choosing a destination from a range of post-secondary school activities—no further study, targeted training, lower-level certificate study, industry training, Modern Apprenticeships, and non-degree study at level 4 or above—diplomas and certificates at level 4.

Author(s): Ralf Engler, Tertiary Sector Performance Analysis and Reporting, Ministry of Education.

Date Published: June 2011

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Summary

This study looked  at the destinations of young New Zealanders after they left school. It considered the likelihood of a student  choosing a destination from a range of post-secondary school activities—no  further study, targeted training, lower-level certificate study, industry  training, Modern Apprenticeships, and non-degree study at level 4 or above—diplomas  and certificates at level 4.

These  post-secondary activities were considered against the students’ highest level  of school achievement, gender, ethnicity, the decile of the last school  attended, and the students’ residential location while at school.

The study  population consisted of 19 year-old students who had left school, who gained  some credits in the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) at  school but less than NCEA level 3, and who did not meet the university entrance  requirement.

No single factor  can explain the choices made by students. School achievement, gender, ethnicity  and school decile need to be considered together to explain the post-secondary  choices made by students.

The most likely destinations…

The study found  that overall, 36 per cent of these students with lower levels of school  achievement do not go on to further study, this being the most likely  destination for these school leavers. Students with NCEA level 2 were about as  likely, at 33 per cent, to go on to diploma-level study as to not go on to  further study. But there was no difference between students with the lowest  levels of school achievement—those who did, and did not, gain NCEA level 1—in  terms of their most likely post-secondary activity. In each case, no further study was the most likely  activity.

In contrast, 82 per  cent of students who gained NCEA level 3 and who met the university entrance  requirement progress on to bachelors-level study after leaving school, and just  9 per cent were not involved in further study.

Students who gained NCEA level 1…

Students who  gained NCEA level 1 were more likely than students with other levels of school  achievement to be involved in industry training. This was especially true for  male European students, where industry training was the most likely activity  for students with this level of school achievement. This is probably due to the  fact that European males are more likely to leave school for work in industries  that offer industry training.

Ethnic group differences…

Asian students  generally showed the highest likelihoods of going on to diploma-level study,  while Māori students showed the lowest likelihoods. For Māori, no further study  was the most preferred option after leaving school, for males and females, and  for students from higher- and lower-decile schools. In contrast, female  Pasifika students were more likely than male Pasifika students to go on to  diploma-level study if they gained NCEA level 2. Pasifika males with NCEA level  2 were most likely not to go on to further study.

Students who  indicated Māori as their only ethnic group had a lower likelihood of going on  to diploma-level study than students who indicated Māori plus another ethnic  group. The reverse was true for European students—those who indicated European as  their only ethnic group were more likely to go on to study a diploma than a  person who indicated they were European plus another ethnic category.

School decile and gender…

Generally, students from higher-decile schools, and  females, were more likely to go on to diploma-level study than students from  lower-decile schools, or males, respectively. However, for students who gained  NCEA level 2, Asian students from lower-decile schools, and Asian male  students, were more likely to study at diploma-level than students of other  ethnic groups with the same characteristics.

Residential location…

Students from more  isolated residential areas were more likely to be involved in industry training  than students from urban areas, whereas those from urban areas were more likely  to study at diploma-level, compared with students from minor urban and more  rural locations.

Students who went  to school in Auckland,  compared to students from other locations, were more likely to not go on to  further study if they did not achieve NCEA level 1. On the other hand, students  who went to school in Wellington, compared to students from other locations,  were more likely not to go on to further study if they achieved NCEA level 2 at  school.

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